By April 25, 2013 Read More →

Seminar highlights simplicity and safety of Universal Robot

130425_Rodriguez_1A common perception of robots is that they are big, expensive and clunky. But as delegates to a recent seminar discovered, there is a notable exception – the Universal Robot.

The Northern Regional College in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, is much more than just a seat of learning. This award-winning campus is a centre of manufacturing excellence and its expertise and resources are available to industry at large, especially in the field of CAD/CAM, robotics and general automation. And in early March, the College hosted a joint presentation on affordable robotics by automation experts from RA Rodriguez and Universal Robots.

The Universal Robot is a low-cost robotic arm that can be applied to a variety of tasks thanks to its easy manoeuvrability and uncomplicated programming. Installation can be accomplished in under an hour and the device can often be used without safety guarding.

130425_Rodriguez_2On campus, the UR10 Universal Robot was shown loading aluminium billets, 50x100mm, into a CNC lathe. Once the machining cycle had been completed, the robot unloaded the finished component and placed it in a pre-defined slot on a palletiser tray. It then reloaded the chuck with a fresh billet. As the door on the lathe had no automatic closure, the UR10 was also programmed to close the door after the chuck was loaded and push the start button to activate the machining cycle.

The seminar also featured a pick and place application with two networked machines; a standard UR5 Universal Robot was connected to IEF Werner linear axis with PA control.

As well as representing Universal Robots in UK, RA Rodriguez is the UK’s sole added-value distributor for linear motion company, IEF Werner. Its profiLINE linear modules were chosen for this demonstration, elements that are popular for their high load stability, repeating accuracy and ability to be freely combined to create bespoke automation systems, off-the-shelf.

“The NRC event was a great success,” confirmed Andrew Mason, automation manager at RA Rodriguez. “The Universal Robot really lends itself to hands-on demonstration as it is so quick and easy to set-up. So the message is; if anyone wants to see a Universal Robot in action, it can be done on-site and in the space of just a few hours.”

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